Idaho Supreme Court Upholds State Law Banning Most Abortions

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BOISE, Idaho — The Idaho Supreme Court on Aug. 12 upheld a state law that prohibits abortion except for rape, incest, or to save the life of the mother. The law will come into force on August 25.

A Planned Parenthood affiliate had challenged the ban, saying it violated Idahoans’ right to privacy and equal protection under the state constitution.


Writing for the majority in the 3-2 decision, Judge Robin Brody said Planned Parenthood was ultimately asking the court “to declare a right to abortion under the Idaho Constitution when – on the face of it – it there is none”.

In a amicus curiae brief filed with the Idaho Supreme Court on the abortion ban, the statewide Diocese of Boise said it “supports laws that recognize the sanctity of human life, including the fundamental right to life of an unborn child”.

Diocesan spokesman Deacon Gene Fadness told the Idaho Capital Sun newspaper that “in the Catholic tradition, all human life is sacred from the moment of conception until natural death,” meaning the church opposes abortion, euthanasia and capital punishment.

“There are exceptions in those rare circumstances where an abortion is necessary to save the life of the mother,” Fadness said. “However, because all human life is sacred, we do not believe that the innocent child who is conceived as a result of rape or incest should have their life terminated.”

“One violent and horrible act does not deserve another,” he added.

The US Department of Justice is suing Idaho in federal court over the near total ban on abortion, but no decision has yet been made in the case.

In Louisiana, in an ongoing legal fight against a comprehensive abortion ban, the state Supreme Court ruled Aug. 12 that the ban could remain in effect. The “trigger law” was designed to take effect when and if the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, which happened on June 24 in the court’s decision in the Mississippi Dobbs case.

The attorney representing three abortion clinics who filed a lawsuit to end Louisiana’s ban said the state court’s decision “will effectively deny intensive care to women across Louisiana.”

The plaintiffs said the ban’s provisions are “contradictory and unconstitutionally vague” and filed a lawsuit against Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry and Health Secretary Courtney Phillips.

In an Aug. 12 tweet, Landry, a Catholic, said he was “satisfied” with the state Supreme Court’s decision “and will continue to fight to end this legal circus.”

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